- The largest population of elephant in southern Africa
- Exceptional horses selected for their temperament and ridability
- Accommodation in three stunning camps, quirky and comfortable
- Afternoon game walks and vehicle drives to view species difficult to approach on horseback, such as lion
- Good game viewing opportunities including lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, elephant etc. As the wildlife in this area are not seasonal, wonderful game viewing experiences are possible throughout the year.
- Transfer to Botswana by light aircraft and avoid the long road transfer!
Day 1 1 : EUROPE- JOHANNESBURGInternational flight overnight to Johannesburg (Tambo International). You will need to depart tonight from Europe to arrive in Johannesburg the following morning.
Flights are not included but they can be booked upon request.
Day 2 2 : JOHANNESBURG-TWO MASHATUS CAMP - 2 hours ridingTWO MASHATU CAMPYou need to arrive in Johannesburg at c. 09:30 or earlier. In case of an aircraft transfer to Camp, make your way to the Intercontinental hotel just outside the airport (approx. 5 min walk). The transfer leaves at 10:30 on the dot. You will then be driven to Lanseria airport where you will catch your light aircraft transfer to the Mashatu Game Reserve.
This is a journey of approx. 2h and you should ensure that your luggage is packed into soft sided bags weighing 15kgs or less, so that they fit into the aircraft.
After completing Botswanan entry formalities you will be met by your guide and transferred c. 10 mins in an open safari vehicle to the reception area.
After a light lunch, you will head off to the stables to meet your horse for the week. This first ride is your chance to get to know your horse and so if you are not happy then you should notify the guide who will be able to select another horse for you. This is also your chance to get your first glimpse of the Mashatu Game Reserve, home to the largest herd of wild free-roaming elephants on private land in Africa.
After arriving at Two Mashatus Camp there is time for a refreshing drink before dinner served in the Llala Palm dining room.
Day 3 3 : TREE CAMP - 5-6 hours ridingTree Camp MashatuYou will get an early-morning breakfast before going for a morning ride, leaving behind the dense woodland of the Limpopo River. Here is your chance to see a lot of game, and enjoy stunning views on horseback. As the ride traverses the heartland of Mashatu, you will encounter plentiful game: plains game, many giraffe and herd of elephants. Arrival at the Tree Camp for lunch. This is a very unique and quirky camp overlooking the Majale river, with beautiful tents nestled in the arms of a trees, high up on a platform - 4 meters off the ground! After a quick rest, choose a ride or enjoy your first bush walk exploring the area along the west bank of the Matabole river. Return to the Camp for sundowners on the deck before dinner is served under the stars.
Day 4 4 : KGOTLA CAMP - 5-6 hours ridingKGOTLA CAMPYou will enjoy a complete immersion into this gorgeous and sunny area. You will have a chance to race with zebra and gnu across beautiful open plains, making memories for a lifetime. You will witness the ancient rock formations for which the Limpopo Valley is known, and the might Baobab trees that scatter the landscape of the "Land of the Giants". You ride alongside the banks of the Motloutse river, and arrive arrive at Kgotla Camp in time for a late lunch.
In the afternoon, search for the area’s resident lions on a game drive and draw the day’s adventures to a close with sundowners at the ancient “Amphitheatre” rocks. Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent with a ceiling of stars and Africa’s night-time melody to sing you to sleep; a rare experience which is just about as far away from city life and the modern world as anyone can imagine.
Day 5 5 : KGOTLA CAMP - 4-5 hours ridingKGOTLA CAMPThis morning you will explore the sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Ancient civilizations harboured their wealth among these hills where two mighty rivers, the Limpopo and the Motloutse, meet.
There is time in the afternoon to head to the archaeologically rich Mmamagwa hills where a 360 degree view of the reserve can be enjoyed as well as another beautiful African sunset.
You will have dinner in Kgotla camp and sleep again under the stars.
Day 6 6 : TREE CAMP - 5 hours ridingTree Camp MashatuAfter a light breakfast, test the amazingly sure-footed Boerperds as you cross over basalt ridges following age-old elephant trails and enjoy long sustained canters to make up for the lost time traversing the ridges. After an exhilarating ride through this timeless countryside, a relaxing lunch in the eaves of the Tree Camp is very welcomed.
An afternoon ride or, subject to availability, a game drive with Mashatu Main Camp vehicles may be possible to enjoy the central area of the reserve (additional cost - see dates and prices). This is a great chance to photograph big cats and hyena up close.
Day 7 7 : TWO MASHATUS CAMP - 5 hours ridingTWO MASHATU CAMPToday the ride roams through the Pitsane River Valley. The day will involve riding up and down river banks, through riverine forest, game sightings and more fabulous photo opportunities. The river is fed by a spring high in the hills and its regular watering holes attract the wildlife, guaranteeing excellent sightings. The area is steeped in history: the Zeederberg Trail, a stagecoach line that connected the towns of the Transvaal (South Africa) to the newly forged settlements of southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), once traversed theses open plains. The coaches would ford the Limpopo River before trailing the Pitsane River into Zimbabwe. En route there was an old British supply post, Bryce’s Store, which was destroyed here in a skirmish between British and Boer soldiers during the Boer war in 1899. Today bullets, buckles and other remains can be found in the rubble around the store. Spend the afternoon at leisure - perhaps enjoy the swimming pool - before you embark on a guided walk into the bush followed by dinner around the log fire.
Day 8 8 : TWO MASHATUS CAMP - 5 hours ridingTWO MASHATU CAMPToday’s ride is rich in history and offers a variety of interesting tales of the past. The open Pitsane plains, so characteristic of this area, are perfect for a faster ride, hopefully with zebra or wildebeest... You head in the direction of the Majale and Limpopo confluence where lunch awaits you upon return to the Mashatus camp.
There is time to relax in camp, before either an afternoon ride or bush walk for your last African sundowner.
Dinner is in the Llala palm rondavel. A dreamless sleep no doubt awaits you as the final day draws to a close.
Day 9 9 : TWO MASHATUS - LIMPOPO RIVER CAMP - JOHANNESBURG - 3-4 hours ridingYour last day in the savannah! Your final morning is spent riding along the Limpopo River, heading back to the stables where fond farewells are made to your horse and lunch is taken on the river bank.
You will be transferred to the airstrip for your flight back to Johannesburg. Your international flight back home should be in the evening departing 20.00 or later.
Day 10 10 : ARRIVALS IN EUROPE OR BEGINNING OF YOUR EXTENTION
Dates & prices
- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double tent.
- The usual group size is a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 riders - safaris with 8 or more riders will go out with 2 lead guides and 2 back guides, and the rides will be split into two smaller groups of maximum 6 riders.
- Group air transfers from Johannesburg are not included but are at an additional cost. 2019: £500 per person return or £700 in December, January & February. 2020: £570 all year round. If the air transfer is not available, a road transfer is arranged at £412 (2019) or £429 (2020) per vehicle and divided by the number of passengers each way (min 2 guests).
- With effect from the 1st of January 2019, all Mashatu visitors will attract a conservation levy of $10 per person per night payable on site. This is $70 per person for the Tuli Trail - payable in $, £, € or rands.
- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a tent with another rider of the same sex. To guarantee your own tent there is a supplement, as there is only a small number of tents available: in 2020, this is £525 in Dec/Jan/Feb, £858 in March/April/June and £1029 in May/Jul/Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov.
- A game drive with Mashatu Main Camp vehicles may be possible on Day 6 if you wish - this comes at an extra cost of $75 per person, payable locally.
- Non-riders have the option to go on a cycling safari. A relaxed ride could cover 15- 25km on a morning ride, more advanced riders could cover up to 40km per day. The pace is generally easy going with regular game sightings, and a scenic picnic stop with an option to opt out of the ride at the mid-morning break if preferred.
- For this ride, there is a maximum rider weight of 90kg/ 14st 2lbs/198 lbs. If you weigh more than this and wish to ride, please contact us and we will advise on a case-by-case basis.
- Age restrictions: Children under 16 please enquire, strictly no under 12’s.
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.
1 backup guide
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
4 grooms for 8 riders
1 logistics manager
All the drinks including wines and cocktails
Price doesn't include
International flights bookable on request
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation
January - February 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 22/02/2020 02/03/2020 £2,100 Guaranteed departure Book now 29/02/2020 09/03/2020 £2,450 Open Book now
March - April 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 07/03/2020 16/03/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now 14/03/2020 23/03/2020 £2,450 Open Book now 21/03/2020 30/03/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now 28/03/2020 06/04/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now 04/04/2020 13/04/2020 £2,450 Full 11/04/2020 20/04/2020 £2,450 Full 18/04/2020 27/04/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now 25/04/2020 04/05/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now
May - June 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 02/05/2020 11/05/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 09/05/2020 18/05/2020 £2,940 Full 16/05/2020 25/05/2020 £2,940 Full 23/05/2020 01/06/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 30/05/2020 08/06/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now 06/06/2020 15/06/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now 13/06/2020 22/06/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now 20/06/2020 29/06/2020 £2,450 Guaranteed departure Book now 27/06/2020 06/07/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now
July - August 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 04/07/2020 13/07/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 11/07/2020 20/07/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 18/07/2020 27/07/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 25/07/2020 03/08/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 01/08/2020 10/08/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 08/08/2020 17/08/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 15/08/2020 24/08/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 22/08/2020 31/08/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 29/08/2020 07/09/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now
September - October 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 05/09/2020 14/09/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 12/09/2020 21/09/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 19/09/2020 28/09/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 26/09/2020 05/10/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 03/10/2020 12/10/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 10/10/2020 19/10/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 17/10/2020 26/10/2020 £2,940 Guaranteed departure Book now 24/10/2020 02/11/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 31/10/2020 09/11/2020 £2,940 Full
November - December 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 07/11/2020 16/11/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 14/11/2020 23/11/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 21/11/2020 30/11/2020 £2,940 Open Book now 28/11/2020 07/12/2020 £2,100 Guaranteed departure Book now 05/12/2020 14/12/2020 £2,100 Guaranteed departure Book now 12/12/2020 21/12/2020 £2,100 Guaranteed departure Book now 19/12/2020 28/12/2020 £2,100 Open Book now 26/12/2020 04/01/2021 £2,100 Open Book now
You will be matched with a horse for the week, with the possibility to swap if you feel like this isn't the best match after the first day.
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Important: On the very first day, all riders will be asked to participate in a short riding assessment. Riders who do not make it through will be offered shorter rides daily from the main stables.
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Guests who do not ride regularly are requested to get fit prior to the ride. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces. If the guides feel that you are unsafe on horseback, then you will be offered non-riding activities instead.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit. Helmets are mandatory on this safari.
Two nights in Kgotla camp : the Kgotla is an old tribal court from a nearby community that was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. The boma is an open-air traditional African enclosure made up of leadwood logs. Guest sleeps on beds around a large log fire which blazes at the centre.
Two nights at Tree Camp: A unique camp built 4 meters above the ground, around the boughs of an ancient Mashatu tree and two lead wood trees. Overlooking the banks of the Majale River, this spot offers a spectacular panoramic view of the adjacent cliffs and flood plain opposite where Mashatu's legendary elephant herds roam. Five beautiful, spacious canvas roofed areas house four poster beds and classic antique furniture. There is a separate area for showers and toilets. There is a spacious dining and lounge area on the elevated platform for relaxing.
No Wi-Fi or mobile reception.
Lunch is also light and may be quiche and salad or a variety of salads with cold meats.
High tea in the afternoon with a selection of drinks and freshly baked cakes.
Dinner is three courses. Wine is served with the meals and a selection of drinks are available.
Vegetarians and special diets can be catered for with advance notice.
Summer (Nov - March) is hot and there is the chance of dramatic thunderstorms.
Guide and local team
If you wish to tip your guide separately then you may do so.
If availing of the aircraft transfer, bags have to be soft bags and weight is limited to 15kg per bag plus 6 kg hand luggage. For people travelling on in Africa before or after their safari we can arrange for the storage of luggage with the airline.
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided, particularly for light air transfers. There is usually a luggage limit of 15kgs including hand luggage. Carry-ons are limited to 6 kgs.
- Wherever possible you should wear neutral colours, such as beige, brown or natural bush colours for riding as bright colours, such as red, yellow or white can startle the wildlife and they will see you long before you've seen them
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Laundry service is provided
- You will be required to wear a hard hat when riding and you should take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and thorns
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold, particularly June - August
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared. Rain is more likely Oct-April
- Casual clothes for the evening
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for lazy lunchtimes
- Casual clothes for the evening
Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the lodge and camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding
Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for plunge pools
- Binoculars for viewing game
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night
In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. Some toiletries are provided by the camps so you can pack lighter.
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Anti malarial tablets and Yellow Fever Certificate if required (check with your doctor)
Please note: in the case of a light aircraft transfer, please note that planes don't necessarily have a separate luggage compartments, and carry-on regulations may apply. Remember that safari camps provide shampoo and soap, as well as alcohol, so make sure to pack accordingly.
Luggage type and weight: strictly 15 kg (33lb) + 6 kg (13lb) carry on, soft bags only!
Eau de Toilette – (250 ml)
Non-flammable and Non-alcoholic liquids – 500ml per container. A combined total of no more than 2l in checked bags.
Pocket knifes/Leatherman’s and other sharp objects:
These need to be packed into passengers checked bags and will not be allowed in carry-on bags.
Visa & Health
Visas are not required by British, Australian, Canadian, USA or other EU nationals for stays in Botswana of up to 90 days.
Visas are also not required by transit passengers, provided they are continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft, and do not leave the airport.
Nationals of countries not listed above are advised to contact the high commission/embassy to check visa requirements.
Those nationals who do require a visa for Botswana must include a copy of their travel itinerary with their application, along with a letter of support from their intended host and return visa or residence permit from his/her country of residence.
Travel to or from South Africa
If you are planning to enter South Africa before or after you visit Botswana, you should refer to the travel advice for South Africa.
Travelling with children
The Botswana government has introduced new immigration rules from 1 October 2016. Children (under 18 years of age) who are travelling into or through Botswana must provide a certified copy of their full unabridged birth certificate as well as a valid passport (an abridged (short) birth certificate won’t be accepted).
If the child is travelling with one parent, with another adult or unaccompanied, the parent or parents who aren’t present will need to provide an affidavit giving their consent for the child to travel. For more information please contact the Botswana Embassy.
Travelling with children via South Africa
If you’re transiting through South Africa with children, see our South Africa travel advice page for information and advice about the documents you’ll need to carry.
More information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/botswana/entry-requirements
Addresses of consulates
- Botswana High Commission
6 Stratford Place
London W1C 1AY
Tél. : (020) 7499 0031
Fax : (020) 7647 1000
- Ambassade du Botswana
88 Avenue de Iéna
Tél. : 01.47.20.08.23
You should check with your doctor who has access to the most up-to-date information but the following vaccinations are usually recommended - Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) together with Hepatitis A and typhoid.
If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as Hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.
Malaria is prevalent in the country, but mainly during the warm and wet season and particularly in the northern half of the country. The south is generally considered lower risk. Don't underestimate this tropical disease and take precautions. Buy repellent (preferably with 50% DEET) and sleep under a net and speak to your doctor about anti-malarial medication.
Budget and money
Notes in denominations of P100, 50, 20 and 10.
Coins in denominations of P5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10 and 5 thebe.
It is not necessary to change money into local currency for any of our Botswana rides - they accept GB Pounds, Euro, US Dollars and South African Rand.
Telephone and jetlag
Mobile phone roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Coverage is average in the major towns but you are unlikely to get any signal at all when in remote camps.
Time zone: GMT + 2hr
Did you know?
Did you know?
Mashatu Game Reserve
The Tuli Trail mobile safari takes place in the beautiful Mashatu Game reserve in south-eastern Botswana, where Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe converge.
The reserve is home to a large population of big cats, antelopes and especially elephants which you will hopefully see whilst riding with your experienced guide. The landscape is extraordinarily diverse with vast open plains, rocky hills, standstone ridges and marshland. Mashatu, the "Land of Giants", takes its name from the giant Mashatu trees and large herds of elephants - the reserve is home to the largest elephant population on a private reserve on the African continent.
The Mashatu reserve in Botswana is the perfect place to rediscover what life should be like: simple, beautiful and vast. Your mobile riding safari through the reserve is an extraordinary adventure: prepare to discover Africa at its finest!